Hospital CEOs managing COVID spike

COVID hospitalizations
COVID hospitalizations(Allison Baker)
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - Faced with falling poll numbers, rising COVID cases and attacks from potential 2022 challengers, Governor Ron DeSantis held a virtual roundtable with hospital leaders across the state Wednesday.

The consensus is the current surge will be short, is more contagious, but less dangerous, and that new treatments are working.

Hospital CEOs from Tampa Orlando, Miami and North Broward all told the Governor the current surge is largely due to the unvaccinated.

“You know, 95 percent of our current patients here are unvaccinated,” said Shane Strum, CEO of North Broward Health.

And they all said they are managing the surging cases and expect a plateau soon based on what happened in the United Kingdom.

“This peak went up very rapidly and then fell very quickly. So, we’re hoping that same thing occurs here,” said David Strong CEO Orlando Health.

The Governor was also told that many of the patients classified with COVID went to the hospital for other reasons, tested positive and are counted as virus-infected patients when they see few symptoms.

“Obviously, vaccinated people have a lot less potential of getting hospitalized. That’s really important,” said CEO of Jackson Health System Carlos Migoya.

The hospital CEOs did acknowledge they are putting some elective procedures on hold, not because they are overwhelmed with COVID patients, but because they have a staffing shortage.

The hospitals also told the Governor that little-known monoclonal antibody treatments are showing great promise if patients seek treatment with the onset of symptoms.

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“Almost 100 percent of our patients have told us that 24 to 48 hours later, they feel much better,” said Tampa General CEO John Couris.

The Governor wrapped up the virtual meeting by acknowledging those vaccinated may test positive, but that’s not cause for fear.

“It’s mostly mild cases,” said DeSantis.

The bottom line consensus of the hour-long discussion is that the state needs to improve its messaging about the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies.

The hospitals said COVID patients make up anywhere from five to ten percent of their current patients.

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